Thursday, March 03, 2011

First Amendment & Court Protects 'Hurtful' Speech

Just because certain actions are hateful, hurtful or idiotic does not mean it should be against the law. Only delusional dolts would show up at a funeral with signs that read "God Hates You" and "Thank God for Dead Soldiers."

Albert Snyder, the father of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who lost his life in Iraq in 2006, felt strong enough to sue for emotional damages when some members of the Westboro Baptist Church celebrated the death of this soldier. A Maryland court awarded Mr. Snyder $5 million in damages. the Supreme Court overturned that decision. As sad as that is, the First Amendment protects that right.

I was listening to Mr. Snyder on the radio today. He was very upset over the ruling. I would be also if it were my son. He believes all hateful speech should be against the law. I don't.

But when you start ruling what is allowable speech and what is not, it moves down a very slippery slop. We must accept the bad with the good, as offensive as some speech might be.

The winner this week was not the Westboro Baptist Church. There's nothing wrong being vehemently anti-gay as this church is, but their methods leave must to be desired.

The winner in this case is the Constitution and the First Amendment.

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